Michigan lawyers stunned by Rittenhouse not guilty verdict
‘Juries get it wrong sometimes’
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - In his 46 years as an attorney, Professor Jeffrey Swartz of Cooley Law School has become pretty good at predicting case verdicts. He usually isn’t surprised by much, but Friday was different.
“If they had come back the first day I would’ve said that it “not guilty” because it is a quick verdict The fact that they took four days to get to where they were surprises me that it was not only hung or some form of the guilty verdict,” said Swartz.
The not guilty verdict came after nearly 26 hours of jury deliberations. The decision took them four days to make.
Kyle Rittenhouse shot three people, killing two of them during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse claims he acted in self-defense.
Professor Swartz said he’s concerned for the future of self-defense cases and the potential consequences that could come from this highly publicized case.
“My concern is that this gives license to people to go anywhere in the country anytime they want and become a vigilante protecting people that they don’t even know just so they can have an excuse to shoot their guns,” said Swartz.
Despite these concerns, Professor Swartz said we can use this case as a learning opportunity.
“Juries get it wrong sometimes. Sometimes it’s the fault of the lawyers. Sometimes it’s the fault of the witnesses. Sometimes it’s the fault of the judge. But the truth of the matter is that they do. Don’t lose faith in the jury system,” Swartz said. “More times than not, more than most of the time, the juries get it right.”
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